Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Late Summer Stroll

Late summer is a languid time of year,
here in the foothills of the Cascade mountains
of western Washington state.

It is so quiet that you can hear the dry leaves drop, 
the buzz of an insect as it flies by, 
and the fluffing of feathers in the underbrush. 

Something that the robins appreciate as they listen 
for grubs and worms. 

Can you see Mr. Robin on the fence rail?

Red Huckleberries brighten up the shadows.

They grow in the highly acidic soil
around rotting cedar stumps. 

A favorite of the birds - thimble-berries 
ripen above their large, maple-like leaves. 

These form large colonies in the shade of the 
forest floor. 

Whitey Bear hears a stick snap.......

We all go on high alert. 

It is just a small herd of deer across the way. 

We relax and move on, leaving them in peace. 

Can you see Charlie, the little black dachshund that
I am pet-sitting, down along the bend? 

He is always in motion and I am unable to get a clear 
photo of him! He is searching for critter burrows. 
He loves to dig :) 

He will be going home soon and we are going to miss him. 
He's been such a happy little presence. 

The blackberry blossoms are pink in the shade......

and white in the sunshine. 

The blackberries are sweet and delicious
this year, despite the drought. 

I am not the only one who thinks so! 

It's always nice to stop for a quick snack :)

Douglas spirea is a native shrub with delightful, 
fuzzy flowers that also dry well for arrangements. 

Ocean spray is a tall, arching shrub with white, frothy 
flowers resembling 'ocean spray'. 

The flowers also dry beautifully to a lovely 
parchment color. 

The slender branches are extremely strong 
and were used by native peoples to make arrow shafts. 

An interesting moth on a mossy rock. 

It was on the large size - about an inch and a half. 
Nature provides wonderful camouflage. 

Dried seed heads of the wildflower, avens,
back-lit by the late afternoon sun. 

Oregon grape ripens to a dusky blue, 
hence the name. These are edible and 
grow on a low, arching, evergreen plant
with toothed leaves. These form lovely 
colonies and are used in native landscaping. 

Here they grow alongside my driveway. 

Tiger swallowtails enjoy the fragrant butterfly bush
growing along the edge of the clearing. 

As we get close to home, we see the apples 
are ripening. 

These are left to the wild things, as they 
are too wormy :(

The tansy is blooming, but has fallen here and there
from our recent rain. 

No is harvested for its pungent leaves
to use for moth sachets. 

The button-like blossoms dry nicely, too. 

A cute grasshopper keeps its eye on me
as I take his cameo. 

I enjoy sitting here under the shade of the cedar tree
on a hot afternoon. 
You can see how brown the grass is from our recent drought. 
We went 55 days without rain, breaking the record. 

Our walk is over - we arrive at the gate. 

The lower area around the house is completely
fenced to keep the dogs corralled. 

The house sits behind a cedar grove. 
You can see dry needles are already falling
around the base of this beauty. 

A ground-beetle along the walkway. 
This one is not alive. 
I suspect a dog stepped on it. 
Poor thing. 

These beetles eat grubs. 

My side window with pots of red impatiens,
blue lobelia and creeping Jenny. 

Ramblin' Man took a hanging basket off the deck
that had seen better days and plopped it
into my little red wheelbarrow to move it
elsewhere. It looked so pretty, I told him to 
leave it there. 

I found the bench arbor last year at the end of the
season deeply discounted, and we put it together 
this spring. I am coaxing a honeysuckle vine to grow
up the side. 

It matches my rose arbor. 
The roses are tired and have stopped blooming
for now. 

Mt. Rainier's snows have been melting, 
exposing its rock face. 

Did you notice the crow at the top of the tree?

He is waiting for his friends.......

And off they go as the setting sun 
reflects on mountain snows. 

The end of another lovely day. 

Time to go inside as the moths begin to play. 


Thank-you for coming along on my Late Summer Stroll, 
dear friends. 

And thank-you for your always kind comments. 


Today I am linking with:

Won't you join the fun?


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Gratitude Attitude

Sometimes the world seems so full of hate and chaos, 
and we can often feel helpless and fearful. 

But we have to focus.........
Focus on the beauty, the love, the wonder of life. 

We don't have to take on the problems of the world. 
It is too overwhelming. 
But we can take responsibility for ourselves. 

We can cultivate love, faith and forgiveness in our own lives.

We are all on the same path........
some have taken detours and some are on the straight and narrow, 
but we are all going in the same direction. 

Most of us, anyway :)

I am so grateful for every hardship and every obstacle
because it taught me to persevere and overcome.

I was very unloved as a child.
My Mother wanted to put me in a foster home,
but my Father wouldn't allow it.

When he was gone, I was neglected and abused.

I became emancipated at the age of 16 to escape
my unhappy home.

Ramblin' Man came from a similar situation
with his own Father.
Even though we were very young when we started
our own life, we were very, very old. 

But I learned to overcome my childhood through forgiveness and love.
My Mother finally overcame her alcoholism and became
loving and kind, late in life.

I learned a valuable lesson of how I wanted my own life to be,
 seeing how I didn't want to live it, through my childhood.

Life can be a wonderful journey if we stay focused on what is
most important.

Love, faith and forgiveness.

Even when others are not so kind.

Oprah Winfrey has a wonderful quote:
"Forgiveness is giving up the hope
that the past could've been any different"

Every difficult lesson in life is another 
wonderful opportunity to rise above it. 

I am grateful for every lesson that I have learned, 
even the hard ones. 

I believe we can change the world if we change our own hearts. 
Life is a mirror - we must be careful what we reflect. 
Hate, anger, and chaos, or love, kindness and peace. 
We all get to choose. 


Today I am linking with:
Thankful Thursday

Won't you join in?


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